Profiles

Associate Professor KAWAGUCHI Yukihiro

Affiliations :

“That’s fine too”. Sensitivity and tolerance towards differences

When the Chinese visit their ancestors’ graves, they burn money for the sake of the dead. That is not ordinary money either — it is made specifically for religious service. You might find this tradition astonishing, but there is a saying, after all: “Money opens all doors” (lit. “Even in Hell, money determines everything”). Remember that in Japan, too, people place offerings in front of the grave: something that the deceased enjoyed, like sweets or alcohol. These habits are similar insofar they both reveal concern for the departed. On the other hand, a Chinese friend told me once that it was creepy of me to treasure the favorite fountain pen of my late grandmother. What I perceived as Grandmother’s memento for him was an ominous object tainted by death.
Why do our traditions diverge? How are they explained in each case? Aren’t there some common points between ostensibly different practices? Aren’t there significant differences between habits that seem identical? One has to be both sensitive and sympathetic towards dissimilarity. To put it informally, “that’s fine too”. Let’s contemplate this together as cultural anthropologists.

  • Research, History
  • Books, papers, etc.
  • Courses
    Cultural Anthropology (Advanced Seminar); Cultural Anthropology (Special Lecture); Cultural Anthropology (Field Work Methodology); etc.
    Personal History
    Received a Ph.D. at the Graduate School of Arts and Letters, Tohoku University

    2007-2010 Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku)
    Appointed to current position
    Degree
    Ph.D. (Literature)
    Research Subject
    Family and kinship, religion, and migration in East Asia (particularly in China)
    Affiliation
    The Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology; The Japan Society for the Studies of Chinese Overseas
    Database of Researchers Information
    http://db.tohoku.ac.jp/whois/detail/01dd316093096e4d70993e9a806ff531.html
    Website
    http://www2.sal.tohoku.ac.jp/anthropology/kawaguchi.html
  • Books
    『ようこそ文化人類学へ―異文化をフィールドワークする君たちに』、昭和堂、2017
    『東南中国における伝統のポリティクス―珠江デルタ村落社会の死者儀礼・神祇祭祀・宗族組織』、風響社、2013

    Co-edited books

    『東アジアで学ぶ文化人類学』、昭和堂、2017
    『〈宗族〉と中国社会―その変貌と人類学的研究の現在』、風響社、2016
    『僑郷―華僑のふるさとをめぐる表象と実像』、行路社、2016
    『現代中国の宗教―信仰と社会をめぐる民族誌』、昭和堂、2013
    『中国における社会主義的近代化―宗教・消費・エスニシティ』、勉誠出版、2010
    Others
    Find my detailed CV on my homepage:
    http://www.sal.tohoku.ac.jp/anthropology/kawaguchi.html